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Djokovic fan O'Boyle on fire and chasing title

By David Kelly

Matthew O'Boyle enjoyed a fine win in the Ulster Hardcourt championships at Windsor Tennis club yesterday.

The Bangor Grammar teenager sealed his place in the last eight of the under-16s with a 6-1 6-2 victory over South African born Christopher Sayers.

O'Boyle has already had a successful summer, having won the Ulster junior Open title at Belfast Boat Club at the start of the month and now he's hoping to go on and make it a double of Ulster titles.

Yesterday, his extra power proved to be the difference, particularly off his forehand and he now looks ahead to a last eight clash with Peter Corrie who defeated Ben Cree 6-4 6-1.

The quarter-final clash will be a battle between Ulster junior open champions as Corrie won the under-14 title at the Boat Club. Corrie also sealed his place in the quarter-finals of the under-14s yesterday when he defeated Ben Laverty 6-0 6-0.

As for O'Boyle, he believes that a combination of hard work and a little inspiration from World number one Novak Djokovic has seen him move up a level over the past few months.

O'Boyle (15), said: "I love watching Djokovic, he's a great player but what I have really admired about him is the way that he managed to break through the dominance of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to become world number one over the past few years.

"I took some inspiration from that. You just have to keep working and working and things will happen.

"I've been working very hard on my backhand and serve over the past few months and it seems to be paying off."

O'Boyle exited the under-18s when he lost to Rostrevor's Ardghal Macmahon, 6-3 6-2.

MacMahon was enjoying a good day at Windsor as earlier he made it through to the quarter-finals of the under-16s when he overcame Tyler Allen 6-3 6-1.

Fresh from making the under-16 final of the Irish junior championships, Matthew McClurg also enjoyed two victories yesterday.

McClurg overcame Joe Heatley in the morning, winning their under-16 clash 7-5 6-4 before facing Windsor lad Patrick Keane in the under-18s.

Keane seemed on the brink of taking the opening set when he went 5-3 ahead but McClurg responded with some heavy forehands and serves to reel off four straight games and take the set. The Comber lad then found the second a little more comfortable, taking it 6-3.

Meanwhile, there was disappointment for east Belfast girl Karola Bejenaru at the grade three under-18 ITF event in Budapest when she lost a tight three-set battle.

Bejenaru, of the Windsor club,

lost to Slovakian Natalija Sipek 6-3 4-6 6-4 in the final round of qualifying.

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